Influenza rising: As weather changes, people in large numbers fall victims to flu

Health expert urge people to take necessary precautions.

Sehrish Wasif August 07, 2011


A slight change in the weather, and a large number of patients suffering from seasonal flu have started pouring in the allied hospitals of Rawalpindi.

Officials of the three allied hospitals - District Headquarter Hospital (DHQ), Benazir Bhutto Hospital (BBH) and Holy Family Hospital (HFH) - said that the hospitals are receiving 150-160 patients daily on average in their Ear Nose Throat (ENT) outpatient departments.

Even the emergency departments of the hospitals are unusually busy, receiving around 40-60 patients every day. On normal days, the emergency departments receive around 15 to 20 patients daily, the officials added.

Talking to The Express Tribune, DHQ hospital’s ENT specialist Dr Umair Kaleem attributed the rising number of flu patients in the city to absence of necessary preventive measures.

“If one family member is suffering from the disease and does not take any precautionary measures, then most likely all other family members will also get infected.”

Dr Kaleem said that flu is a highly-contagious infection that affects the respiratory tract and people with weaker immune systems are even more vulnerable to it.

The symptoms of the infection include runny nose, nasal congestion, sneezing, sore throat, temperature, cough, head and body ache, he said, adding that as flu is a viral infection, antibiotics remain ineffective and the only to treat it is by improving the patient’s immunity.

He advised people to avoid having eatables from outside during Ramazan because the food might be infected if the person preparing it is suffering from flu.

He urged people to take all precautionary measure, like properly washing hands before eating and advised infected people to use separate towels and remaining indoors.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 7th, 2011.


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